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Towns & Twps
METZ and OLD METZ
(previously Pleasant Valley)
VERNON COUNTY, MISSOURI
After the Civil War, the township settled slowly but substantially. In
1873 the municipal organization was effected and the township named
Metz, for the town of that name. Previously, the area was part of Osage
The town of Metz, originally on Reed's Creek, north of the Osage in this
township, was established in the fall of 1870. The locality was formerly
known as Pleasant Valley. A fine steam planing mill gave the village
some notoriety and attracted much custom.
Our Town Happened onto its Name (from "The Metz Times")
information furnished by W. L. Yeates, T. M. Summers, and L. M. Baze.]
stranger who hears the name "Metz" may get the idea that the town's
population came direct from the city of Berlin, the banks of the Rhine
or some other point in Emperor William's domain. True it is a German
name, but if there is a thoroughbred Deitscherman living within five
miles of Metz he is unknown to the writer.
settlement on Reed's creek about one and one-half miles east of where
Metz is now located, had been called Pleasant Valley for several years.
Finally a general merchandise store was opened. In the fall of 1870 the
government was asked to establish a postoffice at the place. D. P.
Swearingen, whom many knew as "Uncle Dave," was the merchant and he was
chosen postmaster. "Pleasant Valley" was sent to the postal authorities
as the name for the office. In course of time a letter was received
stating that there was an office of that name in the state and it would
be necessary to select another. "Uncle Dave" appointed three leading
men of the village to do the christening. A meeting was held as per
agreement, and though loath to give up Pleasant Valley, they decided to
leave it to the postmaster's good judgment. "Uncle Dave" favored a
short name. He had been reading the "Weekly Missouri Republican" (now
the St. Louis "Republic") about the Franco-Prussian War and General
Bazaine's capitulation at Metz, one of the large cities of Germany.
"Boys," he said, "I've got it; let's call 'er Metz."
"All right!" responded the three men in concert.
merchant-postmaster pulled a jug from under the counter and passed it
around, after which the dogs were called and all joined in a 'coon hunt
in the Osage bottoms.
In May, 1890, the
Missouri Pacific railroad was completed. It missed Metz about a mile.
The inhabitants of the village found themselves isolated, within earshot
of the shrieks of the locomotive, but too far away for practical
purposes. Dr. G. W. Petty was the first to break away from the old
town. He moved his store building and contents to the present site and
soon the new town of Metz was laid out. Others followed, and in a short
time Pleasant Valley, as many still called it, was only a
Information above from the 1911 History of Vernon County, Missouri
D. P. Swearingen
built the first house in the place in the spring of 1867, hauling the
lumber from Sedalia on a wagon before the railroad ever ran from Sedalia
to the southwest. In the year 1868 ten acres was laid off in town
lots. The first death after it became a town was that of Mrs. D. P.
Swearingen. The first birth was Rosa Rucker who was born in September,
1879. The present school house was built in the year 1879, at a cost of
about $1,200 and has an enrollment of 115 scholars in that district
attending. The first marriage was T. L. O'Brien and Nancy Swearingen, by
Rev. R. H. Harris, June 28th, 1868.
There is some little
improvement going on there now. A new Southern Methodist church is being
built at a cost of $1,000. There is a saw mill there belonging to Wilson
& Pond. The mill has been running ever since 1868. The past year they
have made about 180,000 feet of lumber, and shipped most of it to Kansas
City. They also run a grist mill in connection, and ground about 3,000
bushels of meal the past year.
The population of
Metz is about 100. T. J. Pond manufactures coffins and all kinds of
furniture. He has followed the business forty years and his work cannot
be surpassed by any one in the state. Dr. Petty runs the only store in
the place, it being a general store. The soil around Metz is good, and
crops look well.
Nevada, MO. Thursday, November 1, 1888
Metz Now Has Street
Metz has street
lights. After months of waiting the Public Service Company turned them
on at 12 o’clock Monday. Some got the idea the lights were turned on at
that particular time on account of the eclipse of the sun which was
scheduled to occur at 12:51 that day, but not so. The seventeen lights,
one on each block in town, showed up plainly in spite of daytime and
they look much better at night. This is a step forward that Metz can
Metz, Missouri. Friday, May 2, 1930, page 1
Metz Fire 8 August 1903
Metz Fire 6 June 1907
Metz Fire 8 November 1907
Metz G.A.R. Mt. McGregor Post
Metz Maps and Pictures
Metz Sports Teams
Metz Train Depot
"We Like It Small" Bittersweet Magazine Article, 1976.
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